Deputy Speaker of Parliament Jacob Oulanyah has called on the European Union (EU) to assist African countries deal with youth unemployment and underemployment.
Oulanyah is in Ljubljana, Slovenia attending the 6th Annual International Conference Africa Day.
At the Conference, panel sessions dealt with issues of mobility, youth and job creation; economic and cultural networking in Africa; and Africa-EU common challenges and shared vision.
There was a focus on discussing opportunities to enrich cooperation between Africa and the EU, by mobilising and empowering young people in spheres of politics, economy and science.
While speaking at the conference on Thursday, Oulanyah appealed to the EU countries to assist in dealing with the issues of unemployment and underemployment that are rampant in Africa.
He asked EU states to support programmes in Africa intended at bailing the youth out of poverty, citing the Uganda Youth Livelihood Programme that binds cooperatives of young people that lack capital.
The Deputy Speaker however emphasised that the long term solution to the question of youth unemployment will be solved by the way African countries structure their policies, laws and budgets.
“Focus must be put on proper health care, education, training and orientation. This will make youth ready for any changing situation and job market,” said Oulanyah.
Oulanyah urged the European Union to redirect the framework of its cooperation with Africa saying that the current framework is designed to benefit one party (EU) more than the other (Africa).
He emphasised that the Africa Caribbean and Pacific (ACP-EU) partnership must emphasise prosperity and security which in turn yields employment, short of which would render the partnership useless.
The Deputy Speaker further raised concerns over Europe framing its politics on the issue of migration.
“An African coming to Europe is referred to as an immigrant while a European coming to Africa is referred to as an investor,” he said.
He said that there’s need for a renegotiation of the framework citing Indian nationalist Mahatma Gandhi who freely migrated to South Africa and built ideas that enabled him change his home country.